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Belgian Fries at Home
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Beef tallow, enough to fill your fryer (roughly 2 pounds)
2 lb
floury potatoes, the older the better, as they'll have developed more starch
Coarse sea salt for serving
Mayonnaise for serving (homemade if possible)

The basic recipe for Belgian fries is always the same. They’re double-fried in animal fat: pre-fried at a lower temperature, allowed to cool, and then quickly fried at a higher heat just before serving. Exact timings vary, but here are my Belgian father’s instructions on how to do it, shared in a recent phone conversation.

Beef tallow gives a lot of flavor and character and can be ordered online. Vegetarians can substitute vegetable oil, but it’s really worth tracking down some beef tallow. It adds a lot of flavor.


  1. Peel the potatoes, wash them, and pat them dry.
  2. Cut them with a knife into batons, roughly 1 inch thick.
  3. Heat the cooking fat in your deep-fryer or heavy pot till it reaches 285 degrees.
  4. In batches, so as not to overcrowd the fryer, cook the fries until they're soft when pierced, but not yet browned. This should take roughly 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the fries, drain on paper towels, and allow to cool. The preceding steps can be done hours in advance of serving.
  6. Once ready to serve, heat the oil in your fryer to 356 degrees. Cook fries in batches for a few minutes until they're nicely browned. Salt to taste, and eat immediately. Serve with a slightly absurd amount of mayonnaise.

James Ubaghs

James Ubaghs is a writer, and committed glutton, living in Brussels.